Only options, loans
Working hard to provide for his family is the life of Tulia Tulia, a 41- year-old father from the village of Safa’atoa Lefaga.
“Life isn’t easy anymore, the high cost of living is killing us every day and that’s the truth,” Tulia told the Village Voice team.
“I believe many families in the country face the same problem as we do.”
Tulia has five children.
“I am a farmer and the money I earn from selling taro and other vegetables does not provide everything for my family.
“I don’t want to go into details to explain what’s happening now in my family because we are all living the same nightmare.
Tulia worked before at one of the companies in town until he decided to become a farmer.
“We all know some of the challenges when you work. I mean the only time we see money is when we get paid and that’s it and there are more burdens when it comes to fa’alavelave, church and village obligations and other stuff.
“We go do loans and those loans take ages for us to pay off and what do we end up with in the account? Nothing.
“And that’s the only option that most of our people are turning to now for help - loans and it’s really a sad scene.”
His other concern is that the cost of living, especially services, in this country is over the moon.
“It’s getting higher and higher every single day.
“The cost of petrol increases from time to time and we have to be aware of that.
“Whatever job we get, we just go for it because even employment opportunities for people like us are hard to find.
“If we get a job, the salary we get is very low.”
He said working the land on the other hand was not easy.
“I just want to remind everyone that even finding a dollar from the land is not easy.
“We also need money to develop everything. We can’t just walk on the land then expect a plantation to be there in the next few weeks.
“We have to buy chemicals, fertilizers and everything.
“So honestly, it’s not easy. Everyone barely survives today because of the high cost of living and low income from what we sell or the work we do. It is a real worry now to many of our people,” Tulia said.